ALTON ORGAN SOCIETY (Founded 1967) ♬♪𝄞 Updated Wednesday 6 December 2023

Alton Organ Society's 2023/2024 Season of Organ Concerts

Despite the inclement weather, close on 50 people attended Marcus Wibberley's superb organ concert on Tuesday 5 December. His programme themes included Advent and French organ music and the result was something for everyone brilliantly performed by Marcus. Moreover, it is his admirable policy to include in one's programme a mix of familiar and new (to the audience) music which Marcus achieved together with his clear and articulate oral programme notes. He opened his programme with an expansive rendition of the Grand March (from Aida) and followed this up with three seasonal Bach compositions. He remarked that some argue that the Prelude & Fugue in F minor (BWV 534) was, allegedly, written by someone else but, he reckoned Bach aficionados believe it was unmistakably Bach himself! Two composers included in the programme (Gabriel Pierné and Jean Françaix) were probably under represented in organists' repertoires so this was a golden opportunity to demonstrate their quality. Other French music included were compositions by Naji Hakim (a pupil of Jean Langlais and who succeeded Olivier Messaien as titular organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Paris) and Jean Langlais. To complete his concert with the remark - "…how many had this piece played at their wedding…?" - Marcus played Widor's famous Toccata from his Symphony No 5. Marcus' programme can be viewed here.

We now take a short break and look forward to the next concert which takes place on Tuesday 9 January 2024 when David Price (Portsmouth Cathedral) makes return visit to Alton. His programme can be viewed here. Admission is £10 at the door (free admission to full time students under the age of 18) or you could take out Season Membership at £60 equivalent to £7.50 for each of the eight concerts held between October 2023 and May 2024 - application forms can be downloaded here. In the meantime, we wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a successful, peaceful New Year. See you in January.

David Hill MBE organist and International Choral Director, Patron of the Alton Organ Society and currently President of the Royal College of Organists very kindly recorded a CD on the St Lawrence Church, Alton, organ to celebrate 55 years of the Organ Society and to raise funds for the restoration of the Speechly organ. The music was recorded by Herald AV Publications, a specialist recording company, in October 2022. The CD was launched at St Lawrence Church, Alton on Tuesday 4 October 2022. The CD costs £15 of which £3.00 of the purchase price will go towards the organ restoration fund. David's CD was reviewed by Choir & Organ Magazine and copies of that review and Graeme Kay's article on the Society can be seen here. The CD can be purchased from members of the Society Committee, from Resurrection Furniture in Alton and at the Society's Organ Concerts. For further details and purchase of a CD do use the contact page here.

There is a new website that lists national organ concerts (including those held in Alton) and can be viewed here. Please list among your favourites.